Friday, March 30, 2012

Schnittke, Dvorák, and Tchaikovsky

I bought another half price ticket to last night's New York Philharmonic concert conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi.

Frank Peter Zimmermann played Dvorák's Violin Concerto (1879) with much polish and sensitivity, though he perhaps understated the work's rustic character just a bit.

The orchestra also performed Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Pathétique (1893). As much as I love Tchaikovsky's ballet scores, this symphony has always seemed a bit whiny and sentimental to me. But Dohnányi changed my mind last night. His version was thrilling with propulsive phrasing and articulation especially in the first and third movements.

The program began with Alfred Schnittke's (K)ein Sommernachtsraum—Not After Shakespeare ({Not}a Summer Night’s Dream) (1985). It's a clever piece that subjects a perfectly Mozartean theme to the terrors and anxieties of modern life.

Listen to it here:

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